It’s a fact we don’t talk about often, but it’s harder to hike when you’re carrying lots of weight. Obvious, aye, but needs to be said. That’s why it’s so important to choose lightweight gear for your hikes.
Looking for some lightweight gear advice? Well, have we got the article for you! Discover our tips for ultralight hiking, including our team’s recommended set up for under 3kg.
What are the benefits of ultralight hiking?
Ultralight hiking has a lot of benefits, and you might get converted to the club once you try it. It’s great for beginners and regular Munro-baggers. You’ll find a familiar trail transformed for the better when you’re carrying less weight, and here’s why.
- You’ll be more comfortable
Even the best backpack puts some strain on your shoulders when its full of heavy items. A lighter pack will sit better on your body, and you won’t feel it as much the next day.
- You’ll be more confident
Difficult terrain is always a challenge, but with low weight gear, you’ll feel more stable on thin paths and loose ground. And when you feel more stable, you enjoy yourself more.
- You’ll have more energy
It takes a lot of energy to carry a heavy pack. Your ultralight hiking trips could go on up to an hour longer, as you have enough energy to maintain your pace. How much further could you go with a lighter load?
Your complete lightweight hiking kit under 3kg
Wondering how to prepare for your first ultralight hike? Like any other, but when you’re looking for gear, keep an eye on how heavy each item is.
Why choosing 3kg for lightweight hiking?
3kg is our chosen arbitrary number. There are no rules for ultralight hiking, just that you are trying to cut down your pack weight by choosing low weight items and reducing the number of non-essentials you bring. A good rule of thumb for what to take away from your pack is to go out on several hikes. After each one, unpack your bag and remove any items that you didn’t end up using, or didn’t help you on your trip. Be ruthless – unless it is an essential for emergencies, if you don’t use it enough, it should be banished.
Recommended clothes for ultralight hiking
1. Trail 30 Rucksack
Our lightest rucksack, the Trail 30 is large enough to fit some gear and a bulky jacket, but not so big that you’ll be tempted to pack extra just to fill it. Empty, it is well under 1kg – all thanks to a back system made of breathable foam. You might find this bag has fewer pockets than you’re used to, and this cuts the grammage way down. But don’t take that to mean it isn’t packed with features – you’ve got your pole loops, space for hydration bladder, and easy access from both the top and bottom of the bag.
2. Shield Jacket
A windproof and water-resistant shell is a great choice for your outer layer. It doesn’t take heavy fabric to keep the cold wind out, just 50D polyester with a bonded membrane to protect against wee showers. At a total of 417g, you’ll find this jacket stretchy and comfortable for all your adventures.
3. Hirta Fleece
Start with the essentials – a warm fleece to layer up when the weather gets nippy and shrug off when the sun peeks out. The Hirta’s gridded fleece makes it seriously good at trapping warmth, despite its total weight coming in at just 343g. We’ve made it streamlined – just one pocket and a neck zip to reduce the overall weight.
4. Base Hiking Socks
Aye, you can even save some weight on your hiking socks! Our Base hiking socks work so well because they blend materials for maximum performance. While wool is excellent at wicking, it weighs more than synthetic options. We’ve combined Merino wool with Cordura in the toe and heel sections to keep those sweat-free, while the rest of the sock uses lighter materials to keep the pair at 60g.
5. Munro Trousers
Comfortable in rain or shine, the Munro Trousers are made of a lightweight and highly breathable fabric with a water repellent finish, perfect for unpredictable weather on the mountainside and weight just 296g.
6. Isle of Skye Walking Pole
No walking pole should be heavy, but our Isle of Skye pole can still impress. Made of carbon fibre, this pole adds an extra 182g to your hike while supporting your every step. You couldnae ask for a sturdier companion.
7. Folding Sit Mat
Just because you’re travelling light, disnae mean you can’t enjoy some top-of-the-hill comfort! Made predominantly of thick foam, its comfort-to-weight ratio is seriously impressive for a 97g package. And of course, it folds down and wipes clean so you dinnae have to worry about it getting ruined.
8. X-Lite Drysack 1L
Our smallest X-Lite Drysack definitely wins on lowest weight to add to your rucksack. Our 1L is an impressively wee 27g. You’ll barely feel it’s there while you’re walking, but you will know that, no matter how hard it rains, everything in this drysack is safe.
9. Deluxe Compass
Keep on your chosen track with a multi-purpose compass. This one is great to use with a map or alone, with a magnifying view and lanyard for quick and accurate consulting on the go. At a mere 47g, it’s a no-brainer.
10. Tritan Water Bottle
It is impossible to reduce the weight of water. It isnae impossible to reduce the weight of your water bottle, as certain plastics are created to be tough and light. Like the BPA-free Tritan that makes this water bottle, for example. It can survive being fumbled and dropped, and you can open the straw one-handed for easy drinking on the move.
11. Stow & Go Trousers
Don’t neglect your wee legs! You’ll find your energy sapping fast if you let your legs get drookit. Get your Stow & Go trousers to complete your stowaway waterproof set. Coming in at just over 200g, these slide over your walking trousers to keep the rain and mud off.
12. Stow & Go Jacket
The Shield can handle a little rain, but if the forecast is grim, you’ll want a fully waterproof jacket as your backup. We suggest our packaway Stow & Go which is perfect for storms that hit halfway up the hill. You’ve got all the usual waterproofing – taped seams, adjustable cuffs, and a drawcord hood. And it squeezes down into a tiny stuff sack weighing 328g.
We hope you’re ready now to radically change your hiking experience by losing the grams where it matters.
Do you have any lightweight hiking tips that we didn’t mention? Leave them below. If you have any questions about the products featured here, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.